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Thursday, March 11, 2010

HNT - CBC

It has been an interesting week.

CBA's concerns over Amazon's bid to open a warehouse in Canada has generated some interesting buzz within the book industry. I talk about it in detail in this post from yesterday.

Myself and several other board members and members of CBA have been in contact with various media outlets around the country, talking to newspapers, magazines, radio and television programs about it.

On Tuesday night, I made a quick drive in to Toronto to be in CBC's studio for an appearance on CBC's Power & Politics (my appearance comes in at about 1 hr and 4 minutes into the 2 hour broadcast) where I talked about CBA's concerns and the longer term effect this might have on our culture.

It was surreal being inside the CBC building in downtown Toronto. But it was like a really quick and efficient doctor's appointment. I signed in with security, was escorted upstairs, waited a few minutes, got moved into the mini-studio area with a set of chairs and the camera, a sound test was done, then I was speaking with the folks from the Ottawa studio (without being able to see them). A few minutes later, I unhooked the earpiece and microphone and was back out the door.

Here are some still shots from the video of my appearance.



These are, of course, fun pictures, indicative of the "exposure" I was a part of this week. (One does feel quite "Nekkid" in front of the cameras -- of course I didn't have time to become too nervous, as it all happened rather quickly)

My blog post from yesterday gets into long-winded detail trying to explain the CBA point of view to those who misunderstand -- but in a nutshell, here's the summary for those who are confused over what we're asking for.

CBA is not trying to prevent Amazon or any other foreign owned country from selling their product into Canada.

CBA is not trying to prevent competition and not trying to limit consumer choice.

Competition and choice ARE GOOD for consumers and Canadian consumers should continue to have the choice to purchase their books from a variety of sources -- big box warehouses, grocery stores, drug stores, Canadian chain bookstores, independent and local neighbourhood bookstores, or online via Canadian and foreign websites.

The current choice we now have as consumers is great, but something that COULD be threatened if proposed circumvention of the Investment Canada Act allow a juggernaut like Amazon to take a deeper strangle-hold on an industry that is as much about the product as it is about the culture involved in the experience of writing, publishing and selling books.

The current choice we have today could be threatened if, instead of the great choices we have now, we're limited to a single monopolistic giant that can easily out-buy smaller or even larger Canadian companies and through force, eliminate all competition. What choice would people have, then?

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